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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Sorry, Religous Right, But You Can't Claim Martin Luther King

Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.

As the nation pauses to remember civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American leader really thought about church-state issues.

On Religious Freedom Day, Vow To Defend That Principle

Today the nation marks two significant holidays: We observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Religious Freedom Day.

We’ll have more to say about King's important -- and often overlooked -- views on separation of church and state later today on this blog. For now we'll look at Religious Freedom Day and why it’s important.

New Wave of Anti-Sharia Bills Betray Religious Freedom

Most state legislative sessions are just starting up, yet we have already seen legislators introduce 13 bills in nine states that would prohibit the “application of foreign laws” in state courts. Now, on the surface, that might not sound like a church-state issue, but that’s by design. The troubling fact is that these bills are driven by anti-Muslim animus and the spurious fear that Sharia law is infiltrating our legal system.

The State Legislatures Are Back In Session, And We’re Ready!

It’s January, which means state houses across the country are beginning to bustle. Legislators are coming back to the capitals to begin their sessions and governors are preparing their next moves. Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia are among the states that have already convened and in the next few weeks, dozens more join them. 

AU Backs Women’s March On Washington In Support Of Women And Threatened Communities

A day after Donald Trump is inaugurated president of the United States, at least 100,000 people are expected to rally together to remind his administration to respect the rights of women and other communities that felt threatened by hateful rhetoric during the past election cycle.

AU Essay Contest Asks HS Juniors and Seniors to Address Church-State Sep Issues in Public Schools

In 2007, Americans United argued in federal court that a public school district in New Jersey acted correctly when it ordered a football coach to stop praying with players and other students.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the school district’s favor against the coach, Marcus Borden of East Brunswick High School, in 2008 and confirmed that his actions were unconstitutional because they violated the First Amendment.   

New Year, New Congress, Old Bill: Repealing The Ban On Pulpit Politicking Is Still A Bad Idea

It’s a new year and a new Congress, but a familiar piece of legislation already has darkened the door of the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) wasted no time in resuming his efforts to roll back the prohibition on nonprofits endorsing or opposing political candidates. On Tuesday – the first day the 115th Congress was in session – Jones introduced H.R. 172 to “restore the Free Speech and First Amendment rights of churches and exempt organizations by repealing the 1954 Johnson Amendment.”

Time For Delay: Sessions’ Alarming Record Isn’t Complete, So Confirmation Hearing Should Be Pushed Back

Next week, Congress starts hearings on President-elect Donald Trump’s troubling cabinet nominees. First up, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on Trump’s pick for Attorney General, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). But if the committee keeps to that schedule, it will have to consider a woefully incomplete record on Sessions. 

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